Manchin and Capito Successful in Push to Restore WVSU Upward Bound Eligibility
Announce more than $500,000 in federal funding for program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Captio (R-WV), members of the Appropriations Committee, today announced a $522,363 five-year federal grant from the Department of Education for West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) Upward Bound program. The senators pushed to restore the program’s eligibility following the Department of Education’s decision last year to disregard WVSU’s application because of minor technical errors.
“In West Virginia, we have a lot of first time college students, many of whom come from low-income families that simply do not have the resources or experience to help their children navigate things like college applications, financial aid, and finally college itself. The Upward Bound program at West Virginia State University helps fill those voids and inspire students to achieve more than they ever thought was possible, like they have done over the last 50 years. By providing support to cultivate and empower young minds entering college, young West Virginians can go even further and become productive members of their community after college. With this funding, Upward Bound will continue to help so many students throughout our state reach their full potential,” Senator Manchin said.
“Upward Bound and other TRIO programs are critically important when it comes to giving students in West Virginia and across the country opportunities to pursue higher education,” Senator Capito said. “Not only do these programs help hardworking young men and women receive a high-quality education, but they also give them a chance to build a lifetime of success and achievement. That’s why I worked so hard to ensure students at West Virginia State University and other schools would not be left out of these important programs. I am thrilled that WVSU students will once again be able to enjoy the benefits of Upward Bound, and I will continue fighting to ensure West Virginia students have access to life-changing education opportunities.”
TRIO programs—including Upward Bound—at WVSU and a number of other universities were eliminated from funding consideration last year after the Department of Education disregarded their applications because of minor technical errors. Following that elimination, Senators Capito and Manchin pushed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reconsider the department’s decision and review the disregarded applications.
In June 2017, Senator Capito questioned Secretary DeVos about the matter during an Appropriations Committee hearing, following up with a call to the secretary later that month. She then secured language in FY2018 appropriations legislation directing the secretary of education to review the previously disregarded applications. The full West Virginia congressional delegation wrote a letter in July 2017 expressing concern after the department denied requests to reconsider the applications.
Senator Capito also raised the issue directly with Secretary DeVos while meeting with her in the senator’s office this May before again questioning her about the matter during an Appropriations Committee hearing in June.
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